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標題: Domestic Dominace in D. H. Lawrence's Sons and Lovers
作者: 林隆諺
Lin, Lung-yen
關鍵字: 兒子與情人;Sons and Lovers;勞倫斯;新歷史主義;文本與歷史的交會;宰制;D. H. Lawrence;New Historicism;intersection of the text and history;Dominace
出版社: 外國語文學系

It is generally consented that D. H. Lawrence is one of the most prominent writers in the early twentieth century, and, among all his earlier novels, Sons and Lovers is undoubtedly the most discussed one. Most critics believe that Sons and Lovers is the semi- autobiographical novel that is written by Lawrence on the basis of his real life, and, therefore, psychoanalytic or Marxist theories are often applied to the exegesis of this novel so as to examine the Oedipal complex or class conflict revealed in it. My elaboration on this novel, yet, would adopt the New Historicist ideas to inspect the intersection of the text and history, the historicism of Lawrence himself, and the implied historical truth in the superficially biographical form, in the hope of having a broader sociohistoical point of view.
Though Lawrence wrote and achieved his fame both in the twentieth century, the time setting of Sons and Lovers was situated in his most familiar child and youth age, that is, at the turn of Victorian and early modern period. At this transitional point, Lawrence, through his brilliant skill, creates a vivid picture on the family life of the Morels, and further implicitly expresses his thoughts about the shift of contemporary history and power. Seeing how Mrs. Morel gains control over the whole household and establishes her position as the queen, we are meanwhile observing how the burgeoning middle-classes affect people of all classes with the aid of the Ideological State Apparatuses, defeating other competing forces, and then seize the domination over the state. Mrs. Morel instills her ideas and values into her sons through the most basic institute, the family-school couple, and grasps them firmly in her hands; similarly, the state makes use of exactly the same mechanism to hail individuals into subjects who would act submissively without doubt and dissidence. However, as Raymond Williams has argued, in addition to the dominant, there must exist at the same time the residual and the emergent cultures that could be trying to oppose and even threaten the dominance of the ruling class. After Mrs. Morel successfully excludes Mr. Morel from the family life, the so-called threats to her are the girls who attempt to cut the connection between her and her sons. Eventually, the mother and the sons under her influence join hand by hand exorcising these heretical aliens, and preserve the divine territorial integrity of the family as well as the state. Since everyone must meet his or her doom, does the irremediable illness and death of Mrs. Morel mean that she is gradually withdrawing from her son, Paul's mind and gives back his due freedom? Or, does her death simply signify the physical departure and, one the other hand, leave her son the acute grief and a stronger emotional bond? This is also the most contentious question that is being vehemently debated among scholars of different disciplines in the New Historicism: Is there a genuine opposition? The concluding chapter of Sons and Lovers demonstrates that though seemingly able to accept the death of his mother and ready to set about a new life of his own, Paul, as a closer reading shows, is still struggling under the overwhelming authority and gigantic shadow of his mother, for his new life is actually the extension of Mrs. Morel's will. The possibility of genuine and effective subversion, under the domination of the omnipresent and omnipotent Mother and State, is completely eradicated.
Appears in Collections:外國語文學系所

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